Vocalist Chuck Billy (pictured below) of San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT is one of a number of musicians who have come out in support of LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe, who is facing manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic.
Blythe, 41, is accused of causing the fatal injury that occurred at LAMB OF GOD‘s May 24, 2010 show in Prague. The singer allegedly either pushed or struck a 19-year-old fan named Daniel N. — a guitarist in a local metal band — and that person died almost a month later of bleeding in the brain.
Randy has been charged with causing “bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan” and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Speaking to Full Metal Jackie on this past weekend’s edition of her nationally syndicated radio show, Billy said (via Loudwire), “When you’re onstage — in Randy‘s situation, he’s a guy that wears glasses, and I’ve read that it’s hard to really see, especially in the dark when things are going crazy and you’re banging your head. I’ve had guys come up, banging my head, and next thing you know they’re almost tackling me. It’s surprising and you can handle it different ways.”
He continued, “In my young years, there’s forty people offstage onto the top of the crowd and you don’t really think about that, about the impact. In Randy‘s case, it’s unfortunate because you really don’t know what happened beyond that stage, you don’t know what happened after the kid was off the stage. Something else could have happened or [been] involved in [causing] the end result. It’s just a really bad situation, even thought the parents are maybe lookin’ for justice, but to bring it onto the band like that… It’s not like Randy assaulted somebody or was purposely coming after someone. It was almost kind of [like he was] just protecting himself from being either pushed out into the crowd or somebody actually really up there to hurt him, so you’re put in a weird situation and it’s happened to us before. I’ve gotten sued for hitting someone with my mic stand and made it through it, but it makes you think, ‘Wow, what kind of protection do you have up here?’ Ever since those days, I’ve told promoters, we got to have a barricade, we got to have security. We’re not playing unless we have it, because it’s so out of control. It’s just a sad situation.”
Asked if he feels like there are going to be big changes implemented in the way venues handle security due to what’s been going on in the Blythe case, Billy said, “I hope. It’s just a shame when you go buy a ticket for this concert that there’s not some sort of clause or something at the back of the ticket and you’re buying the ticket at your own risk. There needs to be something like that, some sort of protection. If there was something like that, and someone who violated who came up and been approached three times, it’d be pretty cut-and-dried, but there doesn’t seem to be anything that protects the musician, artist, or venue [from] that kind of situation. . . It’s like me up there getting up there saying, ‘Okay, I want everybody in the pit or do the ‘Wall Of Death’ [where crowds split into two groups and then charge each other like a battle in the movie ‘Braveheart’. — Ed.], and somebody gets hurt. It’s the old saying, ‘If I told you to jump off a bridge, would you jump?’ So it’s a really tough spot to be in.”